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Sipp switch took months

Aegon Scottish Equitable has been slammed over its Sipp administration, with an adviser claiming the firm took nearly five months to allow him to change provider.

Jordan Financial Management managing director Mike Jordan says that the company has dragged its feet and would not return the £270 annual management fee charged in Feb- ruary, four months after he made the initial transfer request to move a client’s fund to the AJ Bell Sipp Centre.

He says: “We complained on behalf of the client and Aegon’s Sipp department told us the delay was because every holding has to be individually registered, which is a time-consuming process.”

Jordan says the whole portfolio is in a discretionary account with Brewin Dolphin and when he rang Brewin, he was told it should simply be a case of signing a document to confirm the change of provider.

A spokesperson for Brewin Dolphin says a transfer would typically take days once the official request was received and a maximum of four weeks in exceptional circumstances.

An Aegon spokesman says: “We accept that there have been delays in this transfer, which we first received notification of on November 28, 2008.

“The annual administration fee was charged in February this year, in advance of the trans- fer completing. In light of the delays, we will waive the fee of £270 and send this amount to the Sipp Centre. We are curr- ently reviewing our in-specie transfer processes in order to improve efficiencies.”

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